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Gadolinium Injury and Side Effects

Medical science continues to advance itself in ways that are nothing short of remarkable, and many of these advancements are extremely beneficial in nature. However, every advancement comes with some degree of risk, and there are times when these risks create problems that are disastrous for many who are victims of this inherent risk.

One of the products or advancements that seems to fit this mold is the element gadolinium. This element was not an integral part of many everyday processes for centuries, but in recent years, it’s become quite prevalent in the medical community. However, it’s also been linked to several serious side effects, some of which can be deadly in nature.

Below is a brief overview of gadolinium and the issues that surround it, but if you or someone you love has suffered as a result of using this substance in a medical setting, contact Privett Law today to schedule an initial consultation.

 

Gadolinium History and General Information

Gadolinium was discovered as an element in 1880, and since then it’s been used in a variety of situations, many of which are unbeknownst to the consumer public. For instance, gadolinium has been used for microwave technology, color television tubes, compact discs and computer memory, among other uses.

Gadolinium’s Medical Use

Given gadolinium’s properties, it was discovered in recent years that it could be a useful tool in the reading and analyzing of MRI’s, which are increasingly-common medical scans that are used to determine internal injuries and diseases, and MRI’s are generally seen as much more useful than X-ray technology. The FDA approved the use of gadolinium for help with MRI’s in 1988.

Basically, when a patient receives an MRI, the medical care provider will inject a compound that contains gadolinium beforehand, and then he or she performs the scan. The presence of the gadolinium-containing agent presents a sharp, easily-discernible contrast on the MRI results that allows doctors to obtain a more accurate reading of the scan results.

Gadolinium’s Link to Problems

However, it wasn’t long before serious problems began to surface in patients who had received a gadolinium-containing contrast agent injection in furtherance of an MRI. Basically, reports began to surface that alleged a link between gadolinium-containing contrast agents and the tendency to develop Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis/Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NSF/NFD), which is a serious condition that is otherwise extremely rare.

NSF/NFD is basically a condition whereby the skin progressively thickens to the point where mobility is extremely difficult if not impossible, bones, particularly those in the joint areas, tend to break and even organs are at risk of this thickening process. Clearly, this is very dangerous, and if NSF/NFD goes untreated, it can be fatal.

If you have recently had an MRI done and notice any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Tightening of the skin
  • Lesions forming on the skin
  • Red patches on the skin
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bone pain

Since 1988, the FDA has approved five different brands of contrast agents that contain gadolinium for use in MRI’s:

  • Magnevist
  • MultiHance
  • Omniscan
  • OptiMARK
  • ProHance


Reaction to the Gadolinium Issue

As of 2008, none of the approved gadolinium-containing contrast agents have been recalled from the marketplace. However, the FDA has published warnings regarding links between patients with renal failure and the tendency to develop NSF/NFD after having these agents injected into their system.

Gadolinium Lawsuits and Attorneys

Given the lack of recalls, the most common way to hold parties responsible for these injuries accountable is with the help of gadolinium attorneys. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of using such an agent, you need to contact Privett Law as soon as possible to schedule an initial consultation.

During this initial consultation, you and I will review all of the facts that surround your situation, and after this is complete you’ll be able to make an educated decision regarding whether or not to move forward with a claim. Contact me today to get this process started.